NBA Insider Reveals Intriguing Lakers Coaching Candidates

Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers wasted no time making their first move of the NBA offseason. Shortly after the conclusion of their regular-season finale on Sunday evening, the Lakers moved on from head coach Frank Vogel. The move became official on Monday afternoon.

Vogel lasted only three seasons with the Lakers despite winning a championship in the Orlando Bubble in his first season with the team. He wasn’t the team’s first option, but he was willing to accept the length of the contract the team was offering and to have specific assistants on his staff.

The quick hook is something that many candidates were afraid of. The Lakers are a franchise that wants to compete at all costs.

With LeBron James on the roster, they were even more of a win-now team. Finding a candidate willing to take on those demands will not be easy, but at the end of the day, coaching the Los Angeles Lakers is a marquee job opening.

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There have been a few names mentioned as possible candidates, one of them being Quin Synder of the Utah Jazz. But, two more names have recently emerged; Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors and Juwan Howard, the head coach of his alma mater, Michigan.

“The Lakers are expected to fire head coach Frank Vogel, sources tell The Athletic. Among the franchise’s top targets for the position, multiple sources say, is Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.

To acquire Nurse, the Lakers would need to receive permission from the Raptors and likely engage them on a prospective trade. Over the next several weeks, expect several other candidates to emerge, including University of Michigan coach Juwan Howard, who interviewed for the opening in 2019.”

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Nurse would seem to be an ambitious choice. Los Angeles doesn’t have much to offer in a trade and it is hard to imagine that he wants to leave the Raptors. He has a chance to build a real legacy there, as he helped the team win the first championship in franchise history in 2019. Leaving that behind for a Lakers job that has a much shorter leash is a tough sell.

As for Howard, the Lakers have shown interest in him previously, as stated by The Athletic, a paid subscription website. Michigan has done excellently since he took over as head coach and a lot of the same reasons that apply to Nick Nurse with the Raptors would apply for Howard and the Wolverines.

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Howard isn’t even through one full recruiting class being the head coach for only three seasons. He has also found some success in the early going, winning five NCAA Tournament games in 2021 and 2022.

Both Nurse and Howard are likely pie in the sky options for the Los Angeles Lakers. It is hard to imagine either leaving their current situations for the uncertainty currently surrounding the purple and gold.

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